AITA picks Paes but Bhupathi to decide final 4

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Mar 2017 09:25:02


Mar 6,


LEANDER Paes was retained in the Indian Davis Cup squad for the tie against Uzbekistan but new non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi will decide whether the veteran pro will make the final four.
Bhupathi will take a call on Paes’ inclusion 10 days before the Asia/Oceania Group 1 second-round tie which begins April 7 in Bengaluru.
The AITA selection committee, led by SP Misra, named four singles players -- Ramkumar Ramanathan, Yuki Bhambri, Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N Sriram Balaji -- and two doubles players -- Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes -- in the six-member squad.

AITA Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee said it was now up to the captain to decide on the final four.
“This is the best India has and we have given the captain the opportunity to pick from the best. As of today (for the doubles) the best option was Leander and Rohan, ranking wise and form wise. Captain will discuss with chairman of the Selection Committee 10 days before the tie to finalise the final four,” Chatterjee said.

“This tie is very important. Denis Istomin is expected to win both the singles matches if he is fit, so doubles becomes very crucial in this tie, so it is now up to the captain.”
Quizzed on the issue of Paes continuing to be in the team at 43, Misra said AITA can’t tell the veteran or any other player to not make himself available as long as they are performing.

“If the player is performing and giving results how can AITA say if he should play or not?” Misra said.
3 singles and 1 doubles player is preference as of now: Mahesh

non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi prefers to have a combination of three singles players and a doubles specilalist, which means either Leander Paes or Rohan Bopanna will make the cut against Uzbekistan in April.
“If you ask me to tell you right now, because of the depth of the Uzbekistan team, I would prefer to play three singles and a doubles but there is no reason it can’t change in next few weeks,” Bhupathi told PTI.